What's going on?
Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, posted the biggest quarterly profit of any public company in the world over the weekend.
What does this mean?
After Shell, Exxon Mobil, and Chevron all reported record quarterly profits at the end of last month, you can bet Aramco wasn’t going to be left out: the company’s net profit crossed the $48 billion mark last quarter – 90% higher than the same time last year. Not only was that a record for the company itself, it was the highest adjusted profit of any public company in the world (tweet this). Unlike many of its Western rivals though, Aramco chose not to use the cash to up its dividend payouts, instead opting to pay off some of its debt and invest in its production. That’ll go some way to helping it up its oil production capacity from 12 million barrels a day to 13 million by 2027.
Why should I care?
The bigger picture: It’s a conspiracy.
Aramco is still expecting demand for oil to keep rising this decade, even warning that there might not be enough to go around when both China and airlines bounce back. That’s partly because its rivals haven’t been investing enough in the industry as they’ve made the shift toward cleaner energy sources. But we’ll need those too: this summer of droughts, wildfires, and floods has either laid bare the need for a move away from fossil fuels, or proved that the Illuminati really is working overtime.
Zooming out: If you can beat it, bury it.
Aramco does have some greener ambitions, with plans to become a leading producer of “blue hydrogen”. That would involve producing hydrogen – a gas seen as key to the energy transition – using natural gas, but capturing and storing the carbon emissions. That might be why Aramco said it’s aiming to permanently store carbon dioxide from 2026, creating some of the biggest underground reservoirs of their kind in the world.